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Sun and heat safety

Created date

May 24th, 2010

If there were warnings on seasons, summer would say, DANGER: May get extremely hot! Average summer temperatures are always warm, but excessive heat can become dangerous. Protect yourself from the sun and the heat this summer.

Be sun smart

[caption id="attachment_12025" align="alignright" width="196" caption="Just a few precautions and you re on your way to enjoying fun in the sun. (File photo)"][/caption] Limit your time outdoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when ultraviolet (UV) rays are the most intense. When you go outside, wear a hat and take water to drink. To protect your eyes, wear sunglasses that wrap around your head and block 100% of UV rays. And use at least SPF 15 on all areas of exposed skin all year long.

Stay cool

Watch for symptoms of heat exhaustion, including weakness, dizziness, fainting, or vomiting. Although heat exhaustion is a relatively mild heat-related illness, it can quickly progress to heat stroke if not treated promptly. Heat stroke occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature, and it can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Symptoms of heat stroke include skin that appears hot, dry, and red; confusion; hallucinations; or aggression. [caption id="attachment_12023" align="alignright" width="131" caption="(File photo)"][/caption] To avoid heat-related illnesses, stay in an air-conditioned place. If you don t have air-conditioning at home, go to a senior center, movie theater, library, or shopping center. Or take a cool shower. Most importantly: Keep yourself hydrated. You may think you re getting enough to drink, but blood pressure medication, heart medication, diuretics, and antipsychotics could all affect your fluid needs. Drinks containing caffeine, alcohol, or high quantities of sugar may contribute to dehydration; avoid these kinds of beverages in the heat. Talk to your doctor about your ideal daily fluid requirements.